NYAPRS Note: Please take some time today to urge your US Senator to support S.2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016. This bill was approved by the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committeeand may well go the full Senate for a September vote. Please urge them to approve the bill as is: possible amendments to expand outpatient commitment programs, alter HIPAA privacy protections, expand access to hospitals rather than community services and addressing gun ownership related issues should not be included in a final agreement.
A L E R T Please set aside a few minutes today to reach out to Senator Mitch McConnell (Senate Majority Leader) and Senator Harry Reid (Senate Minority Leader), and your own Senators, to support the passage of S.2689, the Mental Health Reform, Act of 2016.
YOU CAN GET THEIR PHONE NUMBER OR EMAIL CONTACT at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state
Below are some suggested materials below (letter and phone call talking points) for you to use. I also invite you to utilize two Twitter hashtags that we're using to announce the campaign: #mentalhealthreform and #PassS2680.
DRAFT LETTER Dear Senator: I am writing today to urge that you ask your leadership to bring up S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, for immediate consideration, and that you vote "yes" on this important bill. Time is running out.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted unanimously to pass S. 2680 in April. This bipartisan bill: - Promotes early identification and intervention of mental health conditions; - Strengthens the mental health workforce; - Enhances oversight of mental health parity, and; - Improves federal coordination of mental health services
Mental illness is widely prevalent in the United States. Over 68 million Americans live with mental illness-more than one in five children and adults. Lifetime rates are much higher with some estimates approaching 50 percent. Across the country, people are not getting the services and supports they need. Currently, only half of people who live with mental illness receive any treatment. Tragically, 117 people a day die by suicide, including more than 20 of our nation's veterans and one active duty service member.
Please pass S.2860 as is, without any controversial amendments that have have weakened and bogged down other mental health bills.
The need for mental health reform legislation is very urgent. Act now to improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans, their families, and our communities. Urge your leadership to bring the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 to a vote.
DRAFT TALKING POINTS * I urge you to ask leadership to bring S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, for immediate consideration, and that you vote "yes" on this important bill. Time is running out. * The Senate HELP Committee voted unanimously to pass S. 2680 in April. * This bill will help the over 68 million Americans who live with mental illness-more than one in five children and adults. * Currently, only half of people who live with mental illness or substance use disorders receive any treatment. * The bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 strengthens federal coordination of mental health resources, increases reporting on mental health parity, advances integrated service delivery, supports the mental health workforce, and increases early access to mental health services. * The need for mental health reform legislation is urgent. Act now. Urge your leadership to bring S. 2680 to a vote.